Histological biomarkers in gills of Sciades herzbergii (Siluriformes, Ariidae ) caught in the Estuarine Complex of São Marcos , Maranhão

ABSTRACT This study aimed to compare an environmental quality of two areas of the estuarine complex of São Marcos using gills of changes in Sciades herzbergii as biomarkers of aquatic contamination. Samples were made during the dry season (September/ December 2015) and rainy season (March/ June 2016). They were captured 40 specimens of S. herzbergii at two different points of the estuarine complex: A1) Itaqui port (potentially contaminated area); A2) Igarapé do Puca, Alcântara (control area). Abiotic variables were recorded: salinity, temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen. In the laboratory, the gills of each species were fixed in 10% formaldehyde and kept in 70% alcohol until the usual histological technique was performed. The gill alterations identified in the fish of the potentially contaminated area were: epithelial displacement (DE), congestion (CO), aneurysm (AN), lamellar fusion (FL), hyperplasia (HI), capillary dilation (DC), necrosis and epithelial cell proliferation (PCE). The changes in the control region were: epithelial displacement (DE), lamellar fusion (FL), necrosis (NE) and epithelial cell proliferation (PCE). Gill alterations were more frequent in the port region (84%) than in the control region (16%). These results indicate that fish from the potentially contaminated area are presenting biological responses to local stress.